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Knights denied return trip to D-V finals
Dan Vos tosses a nice wrap-around pass to senior Isaac Norman for the easy layup Tuesday in Ripon Christian’s playoff loss to Vacaville Christian Tuesday at Galt High.
GALT — For 19 consecutive games the Ripon Christian Knights have been able to conquer any task, but the Vacaville Christian defensive pressure was simply a challenge too great in the Knights’ 71-63 Sac-Joaquin Section Division-V semifinal loss Tuesday.

Ripon Christian showed up riding a 19-game winning streak that landed the squad the No.1 seed, only to encounter a Vacaville Christian squad that had a game plan – pressure, pressure, pressure.

The Falcons pressed from their very first possession and never let up, causing a usually-efficient Ripon Christian offense into a series of turnovers and playing from behind the majority of the contest.

“We don’t ever stop pressing,” Vacaville Christian head coach Mike Jarvis said. “If you look at our losses, in all of our losses at some point, we slowed down the play of the game.  Our offense comes out of our defense, so we play up tempo for 32 minutes.

“Watching them, they’re a disciplined team, a really well coached team and we felt like our only hope was to keep it uptempo.”

Ripon Christian was able to hang closely with the Falcons, trailing by as many as 10, but chipping the deficit to five by half. In the fourth, the Knights trailed by as many as 13, but with 33 seconds remaining Logan Vos nailed a double-pump 3-pointer, pulling RC to within four.

“There was a key foul called on Logan in the final seconds and if we could have gotten the ball there we may have had a chance,” Ripon Christian head coach Ron Vander Molen. “But they just hit a few too many three’s and that really made the difference.

“It would have been a different ball game if they would have missed a couple 3s.”

The Falcons connected for 12 3-pointers in the first three quarters before abandoning the deep perimeter shooting in the fourth. Vos carried the bulk of the Knights’ scoring load, finishing with 28 points including 12 in the second half.

The Knights got a solid effort from sophomore Danny Vos, who collected nine rebounds and dished out 12 assists to go along with four points. Jared Goslinga was the only other Knight in double digits with 17.

Ripon Christian’s season is far from over, as the squad will get ready for NorCals Tuesday, with the Knights likely taking a lengthy trip for their next time taking the court.

“I was happy with our effort,” Vander Molen said. “I was actually happy with the way we handled their press for the most part. We just got beat tonight, and we just have to get back at it Thursday and have fun traveling somewhere next week.”